The families of the martyrs killed by security and police forces during the revolution anticipating the trial, broke out into protest when the New Cairo court in the far north eastern outskirts of Cairo on Sunday adjourned the trial of Egypt’s former minister of interior, Habib El-Adly to 25 July.
This sparked chants from protesters close to downtown, already staging a sit-in since Friday at the state media building, Maspero, when they found out through their mobile phones in support of the families.
The number of protesters at the Maspero building was not large, as most of the families were at the New Cairo courthouse, but they were big enough to stop traffic. A small fire was lit, but was quickly put out.
The revolution’s martyrs’ coalition spokesperson Mohamed Gomaa, the brother of martyr Abdel Salam Gomaa, said poetically that the small fire symbolised the anger inside the martyrs’ families and the wounded, who feel they are betrayed. Mr Gomaa, who works as a translator, told Ahram Online that the prime minister’s media adviser, Dr Ahmed Saman came last Friday and took from him a copy of the coalition’s demands.
Only the sixth demand of the sit-in was fulfilled: financial aid for the wounded and the martyrs’ families.
Prime Minister Essam Sharaf issued a decree on 25 June that establishes the fund to care for the revolution’s wounded and the martyrs’ families. The fund’s main objectives are to compensate the wounded and the martyrs’ families and help them in their treatment and rehabilitation. The fund was first announced 8 June 2011 in the committee meeting called to address the martyrs’ families and wounded, headed by PM Sharaf.
The fund will be administered by 10 persons and will open 1 July, 2011. To receive funds an application must be submitted through the ministry of social justice country-wide. The fund is resourced by the state, donations, aid from charities and some profits from sports fairs and events.
According to Mr Gomaa the other five demands do not require much time to comply with, therefore the sit-in will not end until they are fulfilled.
The other five demands are: to include ousted president Mubarak, former prime minister Ahmed Nazif, former minister of information Anas El-Feki, former minister of telecommunications Tarek Kamel and former minister of health Hatem El-Gabali as accused in the trial of those killed in the revolution and furthermore, airing the proceedings on television; assigning a specialised court to look into the beating and killing of revolutionaries in order speed up the court process; detaining all of the officers and police agents accused of killing and injuring protesters.
The families themselves say:
Martyr El-Daab Ahmed’s wife came with her toddler son from Upper Egypt to join the sit-in at Maspero and told Ahram Online that this is the first time she hears about the fund for the martyrs’ families. Mrs Ahmed’s stance is that she does not want funds, because when her son grows up he will work - she only cares for her husband’s dignity.
Yasser Abu El-Aouf, who was injured in the January 25 Revolution, told Ahram Online that the wounded and the families of the martyrs did not want any funds; they only want justice and the death penalty for former president Mubarak and the former minister of interior.
Martyr Mohamed Ismail’s mother, Mrs Soad Ibrahim, who came from the northern coastal city of Alexandria to join the sit-in, echoed to Ahram Online that she did not want a thing from the government, except justice.
Small protests have been held from time to time in front of the Maspero building’s security barriers, with chants accusing national television of bias and demanding a military trial for ousted president Mubarak and El-Adly.
The protesters at Maspero are preparing for a bigger protest with the expected arrival of the martyrs’ families from the New Cairo courthouse.